Stepping into the realm of 8-inch monitors comes with a range of benefits. Deeper low-end and louder volume levels, to name a few. In this guide, we break down the 8-inch monitors worth considering. Below are the highlights, but several outstanding options are covered in more detail below.
Ultra-flat response for accurate mixing and mastering. Clean design, crisp sound, and impressive build quality.
ADAM Audio T8V
Impressive sound quality with a neutral response and satisfying bass. Excellent build quality and design.
A Complete Review Of The Gear
There are some fantastic choices available in this segment of the studio monitor market. With many of them being some of the best speakers for music production. Let’s dive into the details.
Yamaha HS8 Review
- Impressive Sound Quality – The HS8 delivers excellent sound quality. No distortion and clean delivery make these a joy to listen to. Excellent for long studio sessions.
- Reliable – Excellent materials and build quality. Yamaha has a reputation for professional-level gear, and the HS8 is no exception.
- Ultra Flat Response – For analytical listening, the HS8 excels. No frequency dominates, and you’ll easily be able to pick up flaws in your mix.
- Subtle Design – The simple color scheme is attractive and understated. Great for producers that don’t like loud colors on their monitors.
- Benefits From A Sub – Due to the super flat response the low end does need a sub. If you make bass-heavy music, I’d suggest adding a sub.
The Yamaha HS8 is another excellent 8-inch studio monitor that is worth considering. Tailored to the professional that spends long hours mastering. Ear fatigue is minimal thanks to the excellent clarity and balance of frequencies. Tuning options are minimal but enough to refine the sound to your space. Another excellent speaker from the team at Yamaha.
Read our full Yamaha HS8 review for more detailed information.
ADAM Audio T8V Review
- Accurate Frequency Response – This affordably priced monitor punches above its weight with neutral delivery. A good candidate for serious studio work without the big price tag.
- Powerful Low End – The bass response is rich and full with plenty of kick and power. Ideal if you listen to or work with bass-heavy music.
- Clean Design – Simple and professional in appearance without any gaudy colors. The angled baffle gives it a modern and sleek finish and adds character.
- Simple Tuning Options – Uncomplicated tuning options allow you to adjust both high and low frequencies. Plus, a switch for unbalanced connections.
- Rear Ported – The rear bass port can be an issue if you place your monitor up against a wall. Bass buildup will be a problem, so keep them at a good distance.
The entry-level T series from ADAM Audio is a great stepping stone into the world of professional monitors. The largest model, the T8V, delivers precise and clear audio along with plenty of low-end oomph. A capable and well-constructed monitor that also isn’t very expensive.
Read our full ADAM Audio T8V review for more detailed information.
Adam Audio T8V
KRK Rokit 8 G4 Review
- Excellent Build Quality – KRK continues its tradition of exceptional build quality in its speakers. With Kevlar drivers and solid box construction. An excellent choice for longevity.
- Next-Gen Tuning – DSP tuning options with a convenient LCD screen. Plenty of flexibility to adjust to your studio environment.
- Satisfying Balance – An excellent blend between all frequencies. Highs are crisp, Mids are clean, and the Low end isn’t boomy.
- Wide Sweetspot – A broad sweet spot allows you to have more flexibility when placing your speakers. Also great for general listening.
- Requires Tuning – When tuned accordingly to your studio space, these sound great. But straight out of the box, they are not ideal. An extra setup step that may be daunting to beginners.
The new generation KRK Rokit 8 G4 is an outstanding speaker. Fantastic refinement of an already popular speaker. The new LCD screen makes tuning more intuitive, and while it does take some initial tweaking, the results are great. Housed in an attractive and iconic yellow and black box, these are also a statement piece for any studio. If you are looking at 8-inch monitors, the Rokit 8 G4 should be high on your list of options.
Read our full KRK Rokit 8 G4 review for more detailed information.
KRK Rokit 8 G4
Genelec 8050B Review
- Outstanding Audio Delivery – The sound quality for the 8050B is superb. Deep and satisfying lows, warm and accurate mid-range, and highs that are not harsh. Super flat response for serious studio work.
- Ultra Durable Cabinet – The MDE (Minimum Diffraction Enclosure) enclosure is super tough and can take a beating. Component quality is also excellent.
- Capable Tuning Controls – A comprehensive range of dip switches gives you control over key output features to tweak the sound. They are fiddly but highly effective.
- Iso-Pod Included – The included Iso-Pod is a fantastic inclusion. It decouples the monitor from surfaces to prevent vibrations and resonance through your desk or stands.
- Prohibitively Expensive – This is a top-tier studio monitor with a price tag to match. Unless you have plenty to spend or want the absolute best, more value-orientated alternatives are available.
The Genelec 8050B is a prime example of what master-crafted and carefully calibrated engineering can deliver. This premium studio monitor offers exceptional sound quality, directivity, and on and off-axis response. It is expensive, but for a professional studio, it’s a price worth paying.
Kali Audio IN-8 V2 Review
- Sublime Audio Quality – Fantastic sound. Clean and refined highs, satisfying and lush mids, and punchy kicks with warm bass.
- Detailed Tuning Options – Large selection of tuning configurations to adapt to a variety of studio situations. Accurate and easy to implement.
- Good Value For Money – With a range of excellent features and high-quality audio delivery, this monitor punches well above its price point.
- Flat Delivery – Detailed sound across the full frequency range. No dips or spikes. A fantastic choice for analytical listening.
- Fiddly Dip Switches – While useful and providing great versatility, the dip switches may be fiddly for people with larger hands.
The new generation IN-8 from Kali Audio is another excellent 8-inch studio monitor. The 3-way system delivers excellent sound quality across the full frequency range. Useful tuning options, a solid selection of connection choices, and an appealing price point. A big step up from the already impressive IN-8 studio monitor.
Read our full Kali Audio IN-8 V2 review for more detailed information.
Kali Audio IN-8 V2
PreSonus Sceptre S8 Review
- Excellent Sound Imaging – Wide soundstage with a great feeling of depth. Fantastic clarity. There is also no sound distortion at higher volumes.
- Flat Response – Excellent response with no frequency taking the limelight. Great for picking up details in your mix or the music you listen to.
- Punches Above Its Weight – The Sceptre S8 is an impressive speaker and gives more expensive monitors a run for their money. If you want top-tier professional quality at a cheaper price, these are worth considering.
- Good Tuning Options – Low-frequency and High-frequency tuning options along with Room Control. Perfect for adjusting to your studio space.
- Not Budget Friendly – While not as expensive as the top-of-the-line monitors, they are also more expensive than other options. Good value but not for the budget-conscious.
Presonus have delivered an excellent speaker with the Sceptre S8. They sound great and perform as well, if not better than speakers double their price. Reviving the co-axial design that was once in vogue was risky. They’ve taken the lessons from years ago and improved performance on every level. An excellent speaker despite its higher price.
Read our full PreSonus Sceptre S8 review for more detailed information.
PreSonus Sceptre S8
Tannoy GOLD 8 Review
- Neutral Sonic Delivery – The Tannoy GOLD 8 features a flat and accurate response which is ideal for detailed studio work. Well-shaped bass, warm mid-range, and a crispy top end.
- Superb Imaging – The dual concentric driver configuration provides a single source point that delivers outstanding spatial imaging and a broad sweet spot.
- Reliable Quality – While it has a modest price point, the quality of the hardware is superb. A fantastic balance between price and performance.
- Unique Appearance – The retro styling with gold accents distinguishes this monitor from the competition. If you like a little flair in your studio, these are a great choice.
- Light On Tuning Options – You’ll have access to HF trim and some Bass adjustment. Not as fleshed out as some options on the market.
Tannoy has relaunched one of its most iconic studio monitors with the GOLD 8. This retro-inspired studio monitor features a dual-concentric driver that delivers exceptional sound quality and results from decades of industry knowledge. If you don’t mind the slightly loud appearance, this monitor will be a great addition to any studio space.
Read our full Tannoy GOLD 8 review for more detailed information.
Tannoy GOLD 8
Dynaudio LYD 8 Review
- Detailed Audio Profile – The LYD 8 delivers a neutral response throughout the range. With crystal clear clarity, you’ll be able to hear every detail of the source material.
- Smooth Highs – Unlike some professional monitors, the LYD 8 offers a high-frequency response that is non-fatiguing and exceptionally smooth. Great for long studio sessions.
- No Distortion Or Noise – With a high Max SPL of 112dB, these offer ample headroom with no distortion at higher levels. There is also no amp noise when idle.
- Attractive Monitor – The sleek modern design will compliment any studio setting. You can also pick these up in white if you feel that color will suit your space better.
- Bass Could Be Fuller – While it has accurate and punchy bass, there is a lack of warmth and fullness. If you are a bass lover, I suggest pairing these with a sub for added warmth and fullness.
The Dynaudio LYD 8 is a fantastic studio monitor if you are tired of the ultra-sharp high frequencies that many monitors offer. Clear and smooth delivery with high accuracy for detailed studio work contained within a modern and inviting cabinet. An excellent addition to any studio.
Dynaudio LYD 8
PreSonus Eris E8 XT Review
- Impressive Sound Profile – Highly accurate monitors with a meaty low-end response, good mid-range, and crisp highs.
- Great Value For Money – Entry-level price tag that is very affordable. Ideal for new producers looking to set up their studio on the cheap.
- Excellent Build Quality – Despite the low price point, this monitor isn’t built poorly. Good quality components and intelligent engineering.
- Good Range Of Inputs – Three input choices that cover both unbalanced and balanced options. All three inputs are also active for maximum versatility.
- Big Footprint – Due to the large waveguide, this monitor is a little larger than some other options on the market.
PreSonus makes the list again with their entry-level Eris range of monitors. These budget-focused studio monitors still deliver fantastic sound despite the low price point. Accurate and neutral with a broad sweet spot thanks to the EBM waveguide. Perfect choice for budget-conscious buyers.
Read our full PreSonus Eris E8 XT review for more detailed information.
PreSonus Eris E8 XT
JBL 308P MkII Review
- Good Sound Quality – The 308P MkII offers an immersive and clean listening experience. Details are noticeable, and the music sounds rich and full of body.
- Affordable Price – Aimed at the entry-level market, these offer excellent value for money. If you’re on a budget, these are among the best 8-inch speakers for the price.
- Large Sweetspot – Generous sweet spot that expands as you move further away. Great for filling a medium-sized studio and for general listening.
- Loud – Speaking of filling a room, these speakers have plenty of loudness. An excellent option if you like to crank it up.
- Not The Flattest Monitor – They do sound great, but there is a slight over-emphasis on the low end. Great for DJs in the studio but not the best for analytical mixing.
JBL continues to offer affordable speakers that deliver. The 5-inch model is impressive, and the 8-inch 308P MkII steps it up again. Plenty of depth in the music and a decent response. As a DJ, these are enjoyable to use as your studio monitors. If you listen to a lot of music and move around your studio a lot, these are an excellent choice.
Read our full JBL 308P MKII review for more detailed information.
JBL 308P MkII
Focal Audio ALPHA 80 Evo Review
- Excellent Volume Range – The Alpha 80 Evo studio monitors deliver great performance across all volume levels. From low to high, the definition is there.
- Fantastic Clarity – Speaking of definition, these sound great. Crisp and clear highs and mid-tones that are smooth and not muddy. Plus a satisfying low-end that doesn’t need a subwoofer.
- Standby Mode – A neat added feature will auto-standby the speaker when it detects no input for 30 minutes. Excellent power-saving feature. Plus, it will auto-engage when they detect source material.
- Defined Tuning Options – Sensitivity options for when you need extra volume. Extra Low and High-frequency adjustment options that are clean and well-defined.
- On The Expensive Side – Much like the PreSonus Sceptre S8, these are in the mid-tier price-wise. You do get what you pay for but be mindful if you are on a tight budget.
The Focal Audio Alpha 80 Evo is a refined and satisfying studio monitor. Clarity is high, and it delivers a rich soundscape. Flat response for accurate mixing and mastering makes these an ideal candidate for professionals. You do need to pay more. But, when you consider how good these sound, they are worth it.
Read our full Focal Alpha 80 Evo review for more detailed information.
Focal Alpha 80 Evo
RCF AYRA PRO8 Review
- Respectable Neutrality – For a lower-priced monitor the AYRA PRO8 does a great job of delivering balanced sound that is neutral enough for studio work. Not perfect but great at this price point.
- Wide Sweetspot – The dispersion is broad and even, making it easy to find a comfortable setup position for your monitors.
- Tough Construction – The durable cabinet is superb and the internal components are high quality. Excellent design from the Italian team.
- Great Value Monitor – This is an affordably priced monitor that will appeal to budget-conscious buyers. Impressive sound and good build quality without a huge price tag.
- Minimal Tuning Flexibility – The back panel doesn’t offer much in the way of tuning flexibility. Low and High-frequency trim is useful, but other monitors offer more.
The RCF AYRA PRO8 is an impressive monitor designed in Italy by a manufacturer that has an excellent reputation in the audio gear scene. The sound profile is relatively neutral, with minimal dips and peaks. While not as refined as other options, it stands out as among the best against similarly priced monitors.
RCF AYRA PRO8
Pioneer VM-80 Review
- Authentic Response – Pioneer has taken huge strides forward with the VM series. The response is flat, with enough accuracy for studio work while maintaining a lively audio profile.
- Flexible Features – An excellent selection of tuning options to sculpt the sound. Auto Standby mode is also available, and both balanced and unbalanced connection options give you maximum flexibility.
- Unique Appearance – The eye-catching angular cabinet sets the VM-80 apart from the endless stream of bland square boxes out there. The front plate also adds richness and vibrancy.
- Aggressively Priced – A fantastic price point that puts it squarely in line with comparable monitors. Good value for money and build quality that is excellent at this price point.
- Rear Facing Ported – The “Vortex Bass Accelerator” features ribbing for smoother airflow, but since it is located at the rear, you’ll want to keep these away from walls which might be challenging in some studio spaces.
Pioneer DJ tends to focus on DJ products, but the VM series goes beyond that and offers a versatile approach that can tackle multiple tasks. An excellent monitor for DJ practice sessions but also capable of tackling more serious studio work. A solid all-rounder with an enticing price.
Mackie MR824 Review
- Big Sweetspot – An expansive sweet spot makes these monitors a good option for both the studio and general listening.
- More Refined Design – A more professional and subtle design than their entry-level range. Pleasing to look at while maintaining Mackie’s unique flair.
- Solid Balance – Sound quality is good with these. If you want a flat response, these will deliver. Not as refined as more expensive speakers, but for the price, these are great.
- Loud – More than capable of filling a medium-sized studio. When coupled with the large sweet spot, they serve as an excellent all-rounder set of speakers for your home.
- Highs Can Be a Little Harsh – While the clarity is good, the high frequencies can be a little grating. They seem overly bright. Only really noticeable in longer listening sessions.
Mackie doesn’t just offer entry-level monitors. The MR824 shows what else they are capable of. A more refined and professional design. This reflects the improvements in sound quality as well. A solid monitor that offers good build quality. If you want to step up beyond Mackie’s beginner monitors, these should be on your list.
Read our full Mackie MR824 review for more detailed information.
Samson Resolv SE8 Review
- Smooth Bass – The forward-facing bass port enhances bass response without muddiness. Accuracy is high with tight and punchy bass. Impressive for a monitor at this price point.
- Respectable Balance – The midrange is respectable and relatively flat, albeit slightly scooped. The highs are very clean without sharpness. Across the full range, the sound profile is remarkably capable.
- Approachable Price – The low price point will appeal to buyers that don’t want to shell out a fortune for their monitors. The balance between build quality and price point is also excellent.
- Powerful Monitor – With 100W of total power across the bi-amped design, the Resolv SE8 delivers ample volume without distortion.
- Only Offers HF Tuning – There are no further tuning controls on the SE8 beyond the HF knob at the rear. Some added flexibility to adjust low frequencies would have been a welcome addition.
Low-priced monitors tend to suffer from a range of issues, but the Resolve SE8 manages to deliver in several areas. Generous bass response, decent mids, and engaging and non-fatiguing highs. The response is relatively neutral, and the build quality is impressive. I wish it were a little more flexible, but at this price point, it is hard to complain.
Samson Resolv SE8
Our Expert Buying Guide
As you step up to the 8-inch category of studio monitors, there are many things worth considering. So before diving in and spending your hard-earned money, check out our top tips.
One of the critical specs you’ll find listed is the Frequency Response or Frequency Range. This gives you an indication of the frequencies the speaker can accurately represent.
The first number will represent the low-end output. The average human can hear down to about 20Hz. Anything higher than that is usually felt rather than heard. If you want a smooth low-end, aim for a monitor that can go beyond 20Hz.
The second number represents the high end. This is where the treble frequencies sit. Much like low-end frequencies, the average human hears up to about 20kHz. Any extra range beyond this helps give the treble room to breathe and offers better clarity.
8-inch speakers offer a lot more volume than smaller speakers. They also handle that volume more cleanly and provide less distortion at higher volumes. If you like your music loud, you should find most 8-inch speakers will satisfy you.
8-inch studio monitors offer plenty of depth and volume.
Keep in mind as a producer or DJ you should look after your hearing. For example, the average concert ranges between 110-120db.
Many 8-inch monitors give a similar output at full volume within 1 meter. Consistently listening to music at this level can lead to hearing damage, so aim to not expose yourself to this range for long periods.
A monitor with plenty of volume output allows you to have plenty of headroom. This means you don’t need to push the speaker as hard, and it will result in less wear and tear.
You’ll also experience better bass delivery from 8-inch studio monitors. But with that can come excess vibrations on your desk. This is where it is best to buy some iso pads to keep the vibrations in check.
The other consideration is the sweet spot that the monitor offers. You’ll likely have the speakers positioned on your work surface if you are a producer.
Many studio monitors are near-field and ideal for these types of setups. A narrow sweet spot is less important here, as you’ll likely be in the same spot for most of your time in the studio.
But if you are a DJ or want to use studio monitors for small house parties, you’ll need a broader sweet spot. A large sweet spot ensures there is minimal difference in the sound quality based on your positioning of the speakers.
Speakers For DJs And Producers
The role of DJs and producers used to be more defined than it is today. With the growth of EDM culture and the accessibility of DJ equipment, there is plenty of competition out there. Pure technical skill as a DJ is no longer enough to get recognized. The most successful DJs are also producers.
As a DJ if you want to reach a larger audience you’ll need to start producing music.
While these two disciplines have very distinct skill sets they have become closely entwined. If you are a DJ, understanding the production process is important. As a result, having a good set of studio monitors is critical.
As you expand into producing, you’ll want to ensure your tracks are clean and crisp. Mixing and mastering is an essential part of producing good music. Also, having access to good monitors can shed more detail and light on the music you enjoy, which helps to inform your productions.
You may have become accustomed to the more colored sound of hi-fi systems. But for producing, you’ll need a good set of studio monitors. Otherwise, your latest creation may sound great in your studio but be horrible on other sound systems.
How Big Of A Room Do You Need For 8-Inch Monitors?
8-inch monitors are best for rooms 25 meters squared (80 ft.) or larger. For example, this could be a 5×5 meter room (16 x 16 ft.) or a 4×6 meter room. A ceiling height between 2.5 and 3 meters (8-10 ft.) is also ideal.
Which One Should You Buy?
There are plenty of excellent options in the 8-inch space. If you have the room for them and the budget, you’ll be very satisfied with the results compared to smaller monitors.
Selecting a winner is difficult but when you consider the goal of accurate and dependable sound, the Yamaha HS8 is hard to look past. High build quality, excellent sound quality, and a hassle-free setup process. But the ADAM Audio T8V is an excellent alternative if you prefer the sound profile of Accelerated-Ribbon Tweeters.
Each monitor on this list has something to offer, but no matter which studio monitors you buy, you should take the time to set them up properly and adjust them to your environment. This is especially important with large 8-inch monitors. Then sit back and enjoy discovering new details in the music you love.